Library features exhibits for visually impaired

On Saturday — the 48th International Museum Day, which fell the day before the 34th National Day for Helping the Disabled on Sunday — the unveiling ceremony of the Cultural Museum

for the Visually Impaired was held at the China Braille Library in Beijing's Xicheng district.

The museum, divided into several zones, features the Cultural Exhibition Hall for the Visually Impaired that focuses on facts about people with little or no vision, including how Braille was developed and the history of care for the visually impaired in China. The Tactile Civilization Exhibition Hall is filled with replicas of items from various civilizations that visitors can touch.

The items displayed in that hall vary, including spears made during the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th century-11th century BC), Roman swords and shields, and models of satellites and high-speed trains. Each exhibit includes introductory Braille text and is touchable.

The museum also features the Eye Care Exhibition Hall, in which there is a large-scale model of a human eyeball that explains how the sense of sight is formed and offers information on various eye diseases.

In his speech at the ceremony, Lai Wei, director and Party chief of China Braille Press, said that the museum will enhance its service capabilities, develop and create more cultural services for the visually impaired.

Bai Yansong, a renowned news anchor at China Central Television as well as a cultural ambassador of the museum, also spoke during the ceremony.

"The visually impaired are among the groups that need a museum most, because although they are not able to see the world, they need to feel it and be felt by it," Bai said in his remarks, calling for the public to help the visually impaired remove barriers so they can have better access to the world.

Bai donated 1 million yuan ($138,422) to the museum.

Cui Lianying, a 69-year-old woman, traveled with her companion, Li Weiqi, over 40 kilometers from Changping district to participate in the ceremony.

"It was a wonderful trip," Cui said. "We were very happy to touch so many things here, and this will be an often visited place for us in the future."

In the presence of the guests, Zhu Bing, director of the China Braille Library, and Chen Yanzhou, principal of the Beijing School for the Blind, signed a strategic cooperation agreement.

According to the agreement, both parties will leverage their respective advantages to deepen their collaboration, make positive contributions to improving cultural services for the visually impaired, promote the high-quality development of special education and help the visually impaired community enjoy a better life.